Bafta accolade for Vivian Oparah as nominations announced
IT IS STILL possible to breakthrough into the Bafta nominations with a relatively small indie production as Vivian Oparah has done – her name features in the Best Leading Actress category for her role in ‘Rye Lane’, as announced by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) yesterday (January 18).
She is up against some global names in the same list, including Margot Robbie (‘Barbie’), Emma Stone (‘Poor Things’), Carey Mulligan (‘Meastro’) and Sandra Huller (‘Anatomy of a Fall’) and Fantasia Barrino (‘The Colour Purple’) – making up the full list.
‘Rye Lane’ itself is a quirky romantic comedy set in and around Peckham, South east London and features Oparah as Yas and David Jonsson as Dom (pictured) – who are two young people reeling from bad breakups, only to discover something… It premiered last year at Sundance (see below about this year) and garnered rave reviews and was released in March of last year in the UK and is a BBC Film, directed by Raine Allen-Miller. It also makes the Outstanding British film category.
Last week the EE Bafta Rising Star nominations were announced – no South Asian featured…
The full awards ceremony takes place on February 18 on the Royal Festival Hall in the Southbank Centre, London.
Sundance Film Festival – hilltop Himalayan girls’ boarding school drama
AN INDIAN production titled, ‘Girls will be Girls’ is to enjoy its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival which is now under way (from yesterday – January 18) until January 28.
The film is produced by Bollywood star couple Ali Fazal (‘Mirzapur’ & ‘Kandahar’) and Richa Chadha (‘Furkey 3’) and premieres on January 20 in Park City, Utah.
Directed by debutant Shuchi Tulati, the film is mother-daughter drama, primarily set in a Himalayan hill town boarding school. Here Mira, (Preeti Panigrahi) is finding her own identity and it is somewhat at odds with what her mother (Kani Kusruti) is expecting and hoping.
Tulati, who grew up in India and is now based in Brooklyn, New York, said: “At the heat of this coming of age drama is a love story between a mother and a daughter and even though it is very rooted in an Indian ethos, I am glad it resonated with people across many continents.”
Chadha was delighted and said its selection validated the couple’s commitment to “compelling storytelling”; she also hailed Tulati as a “fresh voice” and several of the debutant actors.
Fazal too expressed his joy. “We hope it leaves an indelible mark on the hearts of the audience.”
The couple and primary talent are expected to be in Park City for the premiere. The film is a co-production by the couple’s Pushing Button Studios, Crawling Angel Films and French outfit, Dolce Vita Films.
The film is one of 16 to feature in the world drama section.
Fazal spoke to us when he made his western film debut in ‘Victoria and Abdul’ (2017) playing the main male lead character. https://youtu.be/omtbsY2iO9U?si=yspXqdsPQdrFcQmZ
Films still in official running Best Picture Oscars
THERE is still some Oscar interest for three Indian films – by stint of them being widely released in North America and appearing on a list of films still in contention for the Best Picture category.
The Academy released a list comprising 265 films that remain in contention and among these are the Indian (language) productions of ‘Country of the Blind’, ‘12th Fail’ and ‘2018: Everyone’s a Hero’.
www.asianculturevulture.com has covered two of these films previously.
‘Country of the Blind’ is an an adaptation the HG Wells’ story where a sighted man falls from a great height while scaling a mountain and lands among a self-sufficient community of blind folks. Hina Khan, one of the central leads, talked to us about it at the Cannes Film Festival in 2022.
Writer-director Mumbai-based Rahhat Shah Kazmi continues to be a rising star in the indie sector and was in the US when the Academy library requested the film be kept in its library archive. Kazmi who is busy working on several forthcoming future film projects told acv, he was delighted and hopes to bring the film to the UK this year.
Director Jude Anthany Joseph’s Kerala Floods disaster film, ‘2018’ is India’s official Oscar entry film and acv was at IFFI 56 (November 20-28) last year, when it was officially launched there as the country’s official Oscar entry. (See video below). The 96th Oscars take place on March 10.